Second Suspect Wanted in Laureldale Attempted Murder
Alexander Gregory Cotto (18 Years Old)
628 Brookline Street
Reading, Pennsylvania 19611
CHARGES: Criminal Attempt to Commit Criminal Homicide
Aggravated Assault (3 Counts)
Simple Assault (3 Counts)
Recklessly Endangering Another Person (2 Counts)
DETAILS OF INCIDENT:
On February 1, 2020, the Berks County Department of Emergency Services (D.E.S.) received a 911 call relative to a shooting. The 911 caller reported that a person had been shot in the chest.
The 911 dispatcher was advised the shooting occurred in the area of Montrose Avenue and Duke Street, Borough of Laureldale, Berks County, Pennsylvania.
The 911 operator then dispatched Laureldale Police Officers to this location to investigate the shooting. Additionally, members of the Muhlenberg Township Police Department also responded to this location to provide assistance.
When the initial first responders arrived on scene, they located the (18) eighteen-year-old victim, in the area of the 3200 block of Montrose Avenue. The victim sustained what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the chest. He was immediately transported to the Reading Hospital and Medical Center via ambulance. Upon arrival at the hospital, the victim was immediately taken to the operating room due to the severity of this life-threatening injury.
The Laureldale Police Department notified the Berks County District Attorney’s Detectives, who responded to the scene as the lead investigative agency.
Detectives learned that the victim, along with his brother (witness #1), made arrangements to meet with an individual in the area of Montrose Avenue and Duke Street to engage in a marijuana transaction. While the victim and witness #1 waited in this area, an individual appeared with a rifle and attempted to rob them. Victim #1 charged the armed individual. Witness #1 heard a gunshot, observed the muzzle flash from the rifle, followed by the victim falling to the ground. The victim stated he had been shot.
The armed individual/shooter fled on foot toward Montrose Avenue, and continued up Duke Street to a vehicle which was occupied with the engine running. The armed individual entered the front passenger side of this vehicle and fled the scene.
In the very early stages of this investigation, witness #1 identified Ethan Williams as the shooter. Later in the investigation, detectives learned that Williams was the driver of the vehicle, not the shooter as reported earlier by witness #1.
As the investigation progressed, detectives located additional witnesses who corroborated and identified the defendant, Alexander Cotto, as the shooter. Additionally, detectives were able to identify and locate the vehicle which was used during the shooting.
On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, the Berks County Detectives Office filed criminal charges against the defendant, Alexander Cotto, at Reading Central Court. The on-duty Magisterial District Judge, Nicholas M. Bentz Jr. issued an arrest warrant for the defendant.
At the time of this Press Release, the defendant remains at large.
We are seeking the public’s help in locating and apprehending the defendant. We are asking that you either contact the Berks County Detective’s Office directly at #610-478-7171 or Crime Alert Berks County at #1-877-373-9913 with your tip.
As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation, and the defendant Alexander Gregory Cotto, is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
UPDATE ... On February 27, 2020, Alexander Cotto was apprehended in the City of Reading by the U.S. Marshal Task Force. He is currently in Berks County Jail under $500,000 bail.